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If 100 sexually active women don’t use any contraception, 80 to 90 will become pregnant in a year. If taken according to instructions the POP is over 99 per cent effective. This means that less than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.
If the POP is not taken according to instructions, more women will become pregnant.
POP need to be taken every day, even during times of vaginal bleeding (with no breaks).
POP need to be taken at a regular time of day either within a 12 hour time frame (window period) and some older type POP within a three hour time frame (e.g. if you take your older type POP at 8am every day, you would need to take it no later than 11am every day) Missed a pill?
The POP works by thickening the mucus from your cervix. This makes it difficult for sperm to move through it and reach an egg.
The newer type POP (containing the hormones desogestrel) sometimes stops your ovaries releasing an egg (ovulation).
POP can be taken by most women
Can be used whilst breastfeeding
Can be used at any age, weight and if you
It may help with premenstrual symptoms and painful periods
There are no serious side effects with the POP however;
Periods may become irregular, light, or more frequent or may stop altogether. This is normal and may settle down it is not harmful but you may find it annoying.
You have to remember to take the pill at the same time every day.
Temporary side effects may last a few months and include spotty skin, breast tenderness, weight change and headaches.
Some women may develop small fluid-filled cysts on their ovaries. These cysts usually disappear without treatment.